Many gardeners grow and know Daphne because of the strong, rich scent from clusters of starry pink flowers. There are many varieties of Daphne to choose from but the traditional is Daphne Odora Leucanthe. Many find Daphne easy to grow, but others not so much so read on for our tips and tricks to have a successful plant.
Find a position in semi shade with moist, well drained soil. Pots are also lovely, but the pot size and good drainage holes are important. Daphne detest wet feet, so well-draining soil is essential.
Plant in a soil that has a high organic matter that is absent of lime. Daphne prefer a neutral to slightly acidic soil and detest alkaline soil with a high pH so balancing the soils pH may be needed. When planting first plunge the plant into a seaweed solution to stop transplanting shock. Once the bubbles have stopped rising it is now time to plant. Daphne need care when planning as they do not like their roots disturbed, so be careful when re-planting. Mulching once planted with leaf mould or bark is ideal. Make sure you keep the plant weed free and do not under-plant with annuals or other plants as they do not like the root competition.
Feed in spring after flowering to restore the plants energy, and again in autumn to give the plant a boost. For plants in pots use Oderings Total Replenish and in the garden use Oderings Rhododendron, Camellia and Azalea Food.
Your plants do not need to be pruned unless you want to give it a bit of shape. To do this prune it in spring, straight after flowering.
Yellowing leaves are often a question from customers. Naturally, as the plant is flowering, it will often have yellow leaves just under the flower bud that will fall off. This is totally normal and nothing to be worried about. However, yellow leaves can also be an indication of too much sun, a watering issue or that the plant needs a plant tonic. Often with acid loving plants, they get blockages in their roots, and a tonic can help clear this blockage so it can take up the nutrients they need. When feeding the plant in spring I often recommend to also give a tonic of Sequestron, a liquid feed especially for acid loving plants.
If a Daphne suddenly gets sick and the stems are feeling squishy or look wrinkly the most likely cause is root rot. This is because of poor drainage. There are products you can use for root rot, but it often depends on how far the plant has gone on whether you can save it. Seven years is considered a good age for a Daphne (although they can live much longer) so consider planting one every 5 years.
Daphne Alba White Daphne Odora Leucanthe